NEW YORK, Feb 9, 2008 / FW/ — The opulence of Imperial Russia meets the simplicity of peasant dress in Verrier’s Autumn/Winter 2008 Collection. Taking visual cues from the esteemed jeweler to the Russian court, Peter Fabergé, the collection is delicate and embellished with a contrasting bohemian edge extracted from nineteenth-century Russian folk silhouettes.
“My inspiration was solidified during a recent trip to Tokyo,” explains Verrier of her collection. “There I was in the most modern city in the world with my head full of Imperial Russia. Ironically, everywhere I looked people were dressed up. It used to be all about those wild-looking Harajuku girls, but now elegance and femininity rule the streets. It was an unusual instance of the past and the present coming together in a totally unique way.”
Like everything in the wintry North, it all begins with the coat: high in neck, nipped at the waist with three-quarter-length gigot sleeves. An artful entrée to the sartorial sumptuousness that lies beneath their surfaces, these elegant mohair, cashmere and tweed pieces prove that cold-weather dressing can be elegant—especially with the addition of a pair of long leather gloves. Verrier’s dusk-blue cashmere Imperial coat is especially regal, with a hand-stitched floral motif encrusted with Swarovski crystals gracing front and back.
Necklines are the belle of the ball in Autumn/Winter 2008, whether buttoned high and secured with a decorative lace papillon, as in Verrier’s coal-black metallic georgette blouse, or encircled by a delicate pleated collar dripping in pearl clusters in a winter wheat silk velvet blouse. Fabergé-reminiscent details crop up throughout the collection in the artful application of Swarovski crystals necklaced together with metallic chain-stitching.
Like the fancifully shaped tiles on Russia’s famous onion domes, Verrier’s collection features overlapping petals, scalloped edges and quilted panels that lend architectural structure to otherwise draping dresses and skirts—whether a multi-tiered chocolate brown taffeta skirt or a blush-pink petaled Tsarina dress. Material contrasts are further posited by the juxtaposition of menswear fabrics like hearty tweed with the most delicate chiffon and lace, giving texture and variety to this year’s cold-weather collection.
Delicate necklines, shapely sleeves, razor pleating, silvery stitching and bejeweled detailing combine in a striking palette of metallic silvers and blacks, pale and vibrant pinks, midnight blues, chocolate browns and winter whites. Bedecked with bows, prettied by pleats or crowned in crystals, Verrier’s collection pays clear tribute to the dazzling designs of Fabergé—without losing a decorative stitch of contemporary relevance.
Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week